Study: ERP Vendors Narrow CRM Gap

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An increasing number of enterprise resource planning vendors offer customer relationship management applications, allowing customers a one-stop shop for buying applications from the same vendor, according to a study released yesterday by AMR Research.


The study, "Picking the Right CRM Vendor: It's More Than a One Horse Race," found that though Siebel Systems remains the market share CRM leader, enterprise resource planning vendors are narrowing the gap. This has created a race among Siebel, Oracle, PeopleSoft, and SAP for customers, according to the study.


Other findings include:


-- The weakest functional areas for leading vendors are marketing process management, content management and partner relationship management.


-- Onyx, Pivotal and Interact Commerce remain best suited for mid-market CRM deployments; E.piphany for analytics and marketing deals; and Nortel Networks for call centers and field service.


-- To avoid overbuying and mismatched vendor selection, companies must focus on usability over functionality; total cost over price; compatibility of integration and architecture; and equivalent customer referenceability.


The study evaluated CRM vendors based on more than 150 pieces of functionality and 19 product categories. Vendors then were ranked by their relative depth in marketing, sales, service and partner relationship management applications.


The study examined companies with a 2 percent market share or higher that provided a suite of CRM applications. Based on these criteria, the following vendors participated: E.piphany, Interact Commerce, Nortel Networks, Onyx, Oracle, PeopleSoft, Pivotal, SAP and Siebel Systems.


According to AMR, as CRM vendors tout similar messages, products and ROI results, it becomes difficult for end users to determine which vendor is the most appropriate fit for their needs.


"Companies are investing more than $1.5 billion per quarter on CRM-related applications, and now more than ever they want to ensure that they are investing their dollars wisely," said Rod Johnson, service director, customer management strategies practice.


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